Open Arms of Minnesota

SNAP Challenge: Wrapping up day one

By Michelle Los

It’s almost 9pm and the sun set a long time ago here in Minnesota.
The first day of the SNAP challenge is almost done. I’m glad to have the first day behind me – the anticipation, nerves and build-up are all past and now it’s just about focusing on the reasons I’m doing this and opening myself up to the lessons it has to teach.
My partner, Peter, and I are doing this challenge together, so our shopping budget was $55.51. We headed to Aldi and Rainbow to stock up – you can see what we were able to bring home by checking out the YouTube video here. We’ve still got about $8 left in our budget, but we’re planning on using that half-way through the week to pick up some fresh produce.
Truth be told, when I first heard that the budget for a single person was $30.25 a week, I didn’t think that was so terribly bad – my budget for a month of groceries is about $125-$150 (for myself).
Then I realized that I eat out. A lot. Once that hit me, I knew that living on a SNAP budget was going to be a great deal tougher than originally anticipated.
This morning we started the day with a serving of oatmeal and a cup of instant coffee. I added a portion of applesauce to my oatmeal to sweeten it, but I noticed right away that I’ll have to cut that to a half portion if it is going to last an entire week.
Lunch was beans and rice with a couple of corn tortillas. Dinner was tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich, with pineapple for dessert (a very special treat, as the only reason we were able to afford this was because it was 50% off).
All in all, I’m a little bit hungrier that I usually would be at the end of the day, but it wasn’t terrible. My biggest concern is that I may have greatly overestimated how long I will be able to stretch some of the things I purchased. Essentially, I suppose, I’m worried about finding myself eating unsweetened oatmeal by the end of the week. But…more on the privileges I bring to this challenge in a later post.

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